Despite of exploring more in its abundant renewable

Despite being SoutheastAsia’s largest energy producer and consumer, nearly half of the Indonesianpopulation has no access to electricity (World Nuclear Association, 2017).

Furthermore,Indonesia, as reported by Goldenberg (2015) in The Guardian, is ranked theworld’s sixth biggest carbon polluter because of the destruction of itsrainforests. Nuclear power has been promoted in Indonesia as a way of dealingwith both these issues. This essay, however, will argue that Indonesia shouldnot adopt nuclear power as a way to meet future energy demand as it hasnegative environmental impacts and a poor safety record.

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It has been argued thatnuclear power is necessary to meet Indonesia’s electricity demand (Symon, 2008).A 2,000 MW nuclear power plant, so this argument goes, will provide 75% ofenergy needs, mainly in Java and Bali grid. However, Indonesia has many alternativeresources that can be used to produce electricity. Located in a strategicposition and blessed with many potential sources, Indonesia is ready toimplement renewable energy. “About 40% of the world’s geothermal sites found inIndonesia and they are spread along the volcanic path from Sumatra, Java, NusaTenggara, Sulawesi, to Maluku” (Puji, Nor, and Sitti, 2015). Moreover, Indonesiahas abundant sources of micro hydropower prior to its location in equator line.

In fact, there are 141 sites of micro hydro energy found in 20 provinces inIndonesia (Erinofiardi et al., 2017, p. 318). This evidence indicates that renewableenergy is far more effective than nuclear power as it is widely abundant andaccessible in Indonesia. It is very unwise for Indonesia to rely on nuclearpower as a source of future energy needs instead of exploring more in itsabundant renewable resources.

Many proponents ofnuclear power claim that it is the cleanest energy option that Indonesia shouldconsider to cut greenhouse gas emissions. They believe that nuclear power releasesless CO2 to the atmosphere (Bishop, 2006). However, nuclear power isnot zero-emission. Indeed, it is dirty energy and will not help the country reducingits carbon emissions. Adopting nuclear power in Indonesia might add to itsgreenhouse gas emissions and break its commitment to combat and reduce globalwarming.

In addition, nuclear powermay not be considered environmentally friendly because the wastefrom operating nuclear power can contaminate ground water. As Pearce (2012) reports, radioactive iodine has beendetected from the water supply more than 130 miles to the south of Fukushimapower plant.              Nuclearpower is dangerous to build in Indonesia, and it should not be supported. Thisis because Indonesia is situated on Ring of Fire with many active volcanoswhich make it prone to natural disaster. Although DrDjarot Wisnubroto, the chairman of the Nuclear Energy Agency (BATAN), contendsthat some parts of Indonesia, such as Kalimantan, Sumatra and Bangka Belitungare secure from earthquakes (as cited in Yap, 2016), this claim is hard tobelieve. Movement in the Earth’s tectonic plates which always occurs annually willcause earthquakes and affect every province in Indonesia (“Ring of Fire”, n.

d.).Thus, it is clear that constructing nuclear power plant in Indonesia is notsafe.

Another point to consider is that nuclear power can lead to catastrophicaccident. Several cases in other countries?Chernobyl and Three Mile Island, forexample, prove that nuclear accidents could happen anytime and can cause deathand financial lost (Sovacool, 2012). Furthermore, White (2005) has warned that nuclearreactors create a highly dangerous radioactive waste.

The byproduct of nuclear,namely plutonium, is carcinogenic as it emits alpha radiation which can resultin the development of cancer (“Chemical Properties of Plutonium”, n.d.). Hence,building nuclear power in Indonesia is unfeasible option as it would threatmillion Indonesian’s lives and possibly even greater; the world.

In conclusion, despiteits large energy contribution, nuclear power has considerable environment andsafety risks. Building nuclear power in Indonesia is not the answer to fulfill Indonesia’senergy needs as well as to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Furthermore, otherenergy alternatives, such as hydropower and geothermal are safer and cleanerthan nuclear energy. Therefore, Indonesia should develop and invest more inthose renewable energies.


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